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Like Judge Brown Jackson, I Struggle Against a Racist Education System

March 2, 2022

Don’t set your sights so high.”

“You’re not Princeton material.”

“She’s too ambitious”

“You are 16, you shouldn’t apply to law school.”

These words sting. They hurt. They impact our soul and live in our minds. We carry them with us and words such as these could easily push us away from our dreams when we feel overwhelmed.

When I read the release by the White House about the life journey of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday, and saw that her high school guidance counselor told her don’t set your “sights so high” when she told the counselor she wanted to attend Harvard University, I felt that stinging feeling again. It’s not a new feeling or new experience to be honest. It stung because it is something that so many Black students in our nation experience and feel each year in our schools as administrators, counselors, and teachers try to limit our dreams simply because of our DNA.

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